My name's Scott Baldwin.
And I'm the head of
business continuity at eBay.
Today, I'm going to talk about
BC planning across a matrix.
So first, let me tell you
a little bit about eBay.
eBay started in 1995
as an online auction site.
Today, it's grown to be the largest
marketplace in the world.
We have a large global footprint
with offices in over 40 countries.
We have over 35,000 full-time
employees and tens of thousands
of part-time and contract
employees, as well.
Most importantly to me, eBay supports
millions of people who depend on us
in some way for their livelihood.
So now let's talk about
Business continuity is
simply the discipline
of preparing for and recovering
from a business-disrupting event.
Now, this can be anything
from a technical outage
to a natural disaster
to a terrorist attack.
Anything that disrupts the normal
flow of business operations
can be considered a
business continuity event.
So one of the primary
deliverables that a business
continuity program provides is
called a business continuity plan.
And a business continuity plan
is simply a set of instructions that
is designed to help
a specific department
recover from a disruption
by pointing out
specific tasks and recovery steps.
Like many medium and
eBay has adopted a centralized
business continuity model.
This means that a relatively
small group of business continuity
professionals in the corporate
level are responsible for ensuring
that each department in the whole
company has a resiliency plan
and is prepared for a disruption.
Because there are thousands of
departments and only a few of us,
it's actually physically
impossible for the corporate group
to create, maintain, manage,
and test all of these plans.
Therefore, we have requested and
required that each department
identify and provide
someone from their own group
to maintain and test their plans.
Also because in the business
continuity corporate group,
we're obviously not experts
in every area of the business,
it really doesn't make sense
for us to be the ones to create
recovery plans for the business.
It's important to realize that these department-level planners are
not business continuity experts.
They have a regular
day job that have
been doing for years, sometimes
that they've chosen to do.
So business continuity planning is
a responsibility that's given to them
on top of their regular work.
Here's where the matrix
model comes into play.
So I have no direct
authority over the planners
nor can I force them
to do anything.
I can't force them to do
the business continuity planning
that they're responsible for.
So because we have
no direct authority,
and especially in the areas
where executives are less engaged
in business continuity,
we started to see that the level
of preparedness was relatively low.
And our task was to figure out how
we could ensure that the planners
were creating good
quality plans and preparing
their departments for disruption.
So our first idea was to use fear.
And fear is a very tempting strategy
to use for business continuity.
We can always point to
somewhere in the globe,
and there's going to be
a disaster somewhere.
And we could point to that disaster.
And we could try to motivate our
business partners by telling them
that that disaster can happen here.
and regulatory findings
are other great ways to instill
fear in our business partners.
And though fear is a motivational
factor for the short term,
we found that long-term engagement
doesn't come about because of fear.
So most people are
going to focus and think
about what they want to think about
and what they want to focus about.
And over the initial impact of
the fear, people, they soon forget.
It doesn't become a
factor in engagement.
The second approach
we took to improve engagement
with our planners was
something I'm going
to call the framework approach.
The framework approach is
where we, the corporate group,
provide the planners with policies,
schedules, milestones, project plans,
tons of documentation.
We try to answer every
question that they might have.
We give them everything
that they would need to do.
And we do this in order to kind
of force the workflow along.
This actually turned out
to improve participation.
And the metrics that we reported on
soon began to show better results.
Two curious things
started to appear:
First, we noticed that the more
questions that were answered,
the more questions were
asked by the planners.
Each round of questions
became more and more detailed
until our framework became
a static set of instructions
that each planner basically copied.
This was really the opposite
of the engagement
they were looking for.
The second realization that
we had was that the milestones
became the objective.
So in other words,
completing the plan
took precedence over the quality
or usefulness of that plan.